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World Bank's Malpass says poor country risks grow as debt relief delayed

WASHINGTON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - World Bank President David Malpass on Tuesday called for faster progress on debt relief for developing countries with full participation from China, warning that delays increase risks to their economies from higher interest rates, currency devaluation and food insecurity.

Malpass told a news conference that the poorest countries face $35 billion in debt service payments to official and private sector creditors -- funds that cannot be used to address the COVID-19 pandemic -- with over 40% of the total due to China.

“Risks of disorderly defaults are growing,” Malpass said. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal and David Lawder)

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